The ISIS, the conflict between Gaza and Israel, and the war between Ukraine and Russia.
Reading the news, I couldn’t help but feel anxious and afraid of everything happening around the world. Is there still hope for peace? Have we reached a point where conflicts are inevitable? How can we achieve peace?
Then, I pray for peace, for comfort, and for healing especially for those who are most affected by the conflicts. But after a while, I go back to my usual routine. I do not do my part in achieving peace.
A Call for Peacemakers
Now, more than ever, we need to do our part in achieving peace. We cannot just hope and pray for peace without doing anything to contribute to it. We need to take action.
Maybe you cannot tell the president of the United States to stop firing back at the enemies and offer peace. Maybe you cannot hold a peace rally where millions of people will gather or go to war-stricken countries and comfort those greatly affected by the war.
But, maybe you can share articles about peace, write articles about peace, or share your insights on how we can achieve peace.
Your action may contribute very little in achieving peace. But, take that action anyway. It’s better than hoping for peace without doing anything. Besides, your small action may inspire even bigger action.
I don’t know where this blog post will lead to. Maybe this will become just another blog post. Maybe this small action will just go deep in my blog’s archive in the future. But, I’ll do my small part anyway. I’m going to share how I think the conflicts can be resolved.
Turn the Other Cheek
One side fires at another in a conflict. The other side fires back even stronger. Then, a cycle of firing back at each other begins. It ends only when one side can no longer fire back. But, it begins anew when the losing side has built up its firepower again.
Now, more than ever, we also need to turn the other cheek. When someone fires at us, instead of firing back, we have to offer peace. But, it’s easier said than done. That’s why it’s the road less traveled.
Turning the other cheek requires more courage and more strength because by turning the other cheek, we risk getting slapped again, being hurt again, and being hurt even more. But, it’s the only way we can achieve everlasting peace. It makes taking that risk worth it. Even if it means casualties and sacrifices on our part.
I know it seems very simplistic to just turn the other cheek when terrorist groups make unreasonable demands or take the lives of innocent people. But, it’s something we, as nations, haven’t really tried.
I know I am naive when it comes to the issue of terrorism. And I know that if you put in the shoes of those directly affected by the conflicts, I may think differently. But I know, deep down, terrorist groups want peace as well. They are still people who want to live decent and dignified lives. I know they still listen to reason.
Deep down, I know terrorist groups just want to be heard. They just want to be loved. They are just fighting for what they believe is right. And maybe they think that firing at us is their only way out, their only way to survive.
Now is the time for us to turn the other cheek, to hear them out, to listen to them, to respect their differing views, to find the best way we can coexist with them and they with us, and to give them a better way out, a better chance at peace, a better chance at living, and a better chance at decent and dignified lives.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” — Matthew 5:9
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” — Matthew 5:38-39